Now, online presence is a crucial element of any successful business. This is especially true in the highly competitive dental market, where success is no longer simply based on the quality of service you provide. Savvy patients now expect you to not only use the top technology in your dental practice, but also to be active in the digital marketing realm, too.
Our culture of instant-gratification, paired with the fact that people rarely have time to read text-heavy content, requires your business to be at finger's reach, and to present information in easy-to-digest forms. Finding ways to educate and connect with patients where they are (online) can drive more traffic to your website and your dental practice. So be sure that you can 1) be found, and 2) seen amongst your competition. Here are some "musts" in marketing your dental practice:
1. Responsive Website
How does your website look on a mobile phone or a tablet? It better look great, because 57% of all U.S. online traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets (BrightEdge, 2017). A responsive and mobile optimized website is an essential tool to provide information and transparency to a dental practice.
Your website should create an image that is consistent with who you are and what your practice represents. It should list all of the services you perform, and it should give patients the ability to schedule appointments online.
Items such as team photos and bios, office hours, and accepted insurance and financing should all be accessible not only from a desktop computer, but most importantly from a mobile phone.
A user-friendly and interactive site will enable patients to communicate easily with your office while educating potential patients so they can make an informed decision, and call you for that appointment.
2. Social Media Presence
By far the most effective method of boosting web traffic is through building your presence on key social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, where viewers can click links to "learn more" on your site. Channels like Facebook and Instagram are also helpful to reinforce your practice's personality.
Once you've established your practice and introduced your team on social media, you can run social media ads. These allow you to target prospective patients by geography and interest to generate leads for dental treatments. While Facebook can be a pay-to-play platform, social media giveaways and contests can be a practical source of boosting your following and engagement numbers.
Being present on these channels is a "must" now more than ever before. Practices that don't stay current on social media could be considered stale, and new patients may just pass them by and move on to the next, more social office.
3. Patient Reviews
How many reviews does your practice currently have on Facebook, Google, Yelp and Healthgrades? Prospective patients expect to see reviews on these channels, and reviews greatly increase your chances of converting a website visitor into a patient. You can toot your horn all day about being the best in the business, but patients want to hear from other patients. Also, it's important to feature these reviews on your practice's website as proof of your quality of service.
To keep reviews flowing, our clients conduct a minimum of two review-generation campaigns a year using social media and email. If your practice is struggling to capture patient reviews, then you should check out an online review management service to keep reviews consistently present on your profiles.
4. Google My Business Local Optimization
With the rapid growth of mobile dependency, Google has become a staple product. And an important piece of being mobile and search friendly is having a complete Google My Business profile.
While some practice owners understand the importance of strong SEO optimization for their website, many ignore Google My Business and local search optimization. Failing to claim your Google My Business page denies you control of the top search result. A comprehensive profile (including practice hours and services offered) is a great way to get noticed, especially paired with patient reviews of your practice on Google.
It’s best not to forget about other internet directories your practice may be listed on, scattered throughout the web. Listing management services like Yext allow you to compile and manage listing information on your practice in one central location, while suppressing duplicate listings or incorrect information. Learn more about Yext.
5. Informative (& Fun) Video
If you want an effective means of popularizing your practice online, video is the answer. Unlike pictures, video can show how your practice operates, or even how a particular procedure is performed. Even a short video captured on a phone or tablet, that’s rich in information, can boost traffic to your website and interaction on your social media accounts. Videos also boost your SEO ranking through Google searches. How? Claim your practice's YouTube channel and place your videos there, so the videos can show up in search results.
And videos don't have to be all education -- capture the fun and personality of your practice (remember the #MannequinChallenge or #InMyFeelings videos??), post them on Facebook or Instagram, and watch the likes and patients come in!
By bringing fresh marketing trends into your practice you could also bring fresh leads, and the opportunity to grow beyond the status quo. If you'd like some help taking your practice to the next level, our team of dental-experienced marketers will be happy to guide you. Contact us for a complimentary assessment of your dental practice.